Del Mintz put himself on the road to a career in sports at an early age. He came to GCC in 1982, right after graduating from Mount Everett Regional High School in Sheffield, MA, drawn by the comprehensive Athletic Program the College had at the time. While here, Del was a multi-sport athlete, playing baseball, basketball and soccer for the College.
“My mentors were John Palmer, the Athletic Director, basketball coaches Sam Harter and Mike Jillson, and baseball coach Bill Heirdich, as well as our men’s soccer coach, Charlene Antonio. At the time Charlene was one of the only female head coaches of a collegiate male varsity team.”
Of all the sports, baseball had the staying power. Del transferred to UMass Amherst after graduating from GCC in 1984 and played Division I baseball for
UMass Amherst until graduating with his B.A. in English Literature in 1987. Del’s seemingly disconnected journey from English major to Major League Baseball scout reinforces the results of GCC’s 2016 Survey of Area Employers, which affirmed the benefit of a liberal arts foundation in higher education. Employers, large and small, regardless of which industry, reported placing a high value on workers having the ability to effectively communicate, work with others in teams and have critical thinking and reasoning skills, all clearly required and demonstrated throughout Del’s career.
“I wasn’t that good of a player,” he says, “So I knew that coaching was the next logical step if I wanted to remain in baseball.” Del went on to coach baseball at the Division III, summer collegiate and American Legion levels, and was a player and coach with Berkshire Baseball through 1991.
How did this Massachusetts sports fan find his way to Philadelphia? While looking for his next step, he talked with Greg Schilz, who had been Del’s teammate at UMass and who is now Assistant Director of Scouting for the Philadelphia Phillies. It was Schilz who suggested that Del consider scouting as a profession. The two ended up working together in the Phillies’ front office.
“I was a rabid Red Sox fan, and was always in mental pain,” Del laughs. “But surprisingly, when I was hired by the Phillies, I transitioned to being a Phillies fan almost immediately.”
Del scouted for the Philadelphia Phillies from 1995 to 2018 covering the Northeast region. “Scouting means lots of road trips. The most memorable and enjoyable scouting trips for me were always the ones I took with my three children.” Another best moment? “No question, winning the 2008 World Series.”
Last year Del transitioned from scouting to serving as an instructor with the Phillies’ Urban Youth Academy and their RBI (Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities) program. These free programs provide baseball and softball instruction and college placement tutoring to inner-city children. They also offer baseball vocational training to kids who want to work in non-player positions in the game.
“I like helping to cultivate a new generation of baseball/softball student athletes. The Phillies are in a great partnership with the community, and I play a role in supporting and evaluating young players, so they can have positive experiences and learn about what opportunities might be out there for them.”
This isn’t the first time Del has committed himself to youth development. In 1995, Del founded Pretzel City Baseball School, dedicated to helping young people enjoy playing baseball and softball and to building positive learning experiences.
Looking back, Del credits GCC staff and faculty for being there for him when he was a young learner, saying, “I would not have graduated without the guidance and support of Dean of Students Ethel “Risky” Case and Dr. Arthur Shaw. I will be forever indebted to them both. GCC is the perfect place to begin your college experience. From the faculty to the administration, if you show up, they will have your back.”
The impact this type of support from teachers and mentors can have on learners resonated for Del. He has worked to model the same unconditional commitment to the members of the teams he’s worked with since his time at GCC, from major league players to the youth of Philadelphia.